January 24, 2004
Are Doritos a cheese or do they count as a mineral?
According to Frito-Lay, your major food groups now consist of fruits, vegetables, protein, dairy, and Doritos.
If you'd like to feel even less healthy, imagine how much someone in the Frito-Lay PR department got paid for this.
Going to destroy you for 730 days straight
Happy 2nd anniversary to Andrew Bell and his Creatures.
January 23, 2004
A pair of public service announcements
First off, I know this is short notice, but I got an e-mail from friend/former boss Harold Moss about a fundraiser happening tonight in New York for victims of the Bam earthquake.
Second, on a lighter note, Bryan Carlin has alerted me to a new dating website out there which fits a special niche audience. And unlike most dating sites, the niche audience doesn't involve animal fetishes. Love In War offers online dating for the progressive, political minded single person. And it's about time too; I have to beat the women off me with a pipe every time I start talking about the Estate Tax.
January 22, 2004
Helpful hints for Howard Dean
The silliness of Howard Dean’s post-Iowa antics have officially gone from a funny late-night joke to a sole excuse for media pundits to claim that "Dean’s campaign is done." "Would you want to see that man with is finger on the nuclear button?" asked Pat Buchanan, Joe Scarborough, etc.
So, since such a gaffe is a clear indicator that Dean is truly unfit to be the leader of the free world, here’s a helpful list of things Dean can do to remove the image that he is a bumbling, inexperienced, lackluster example of leadership:
- Announce proudly that no president has ever done as much as him for human rights.
- Dress up in a crotch-accentuating flight suit and land a jet on an aircraft carrier.
- Brag repeatedly about a sub-standard college grade point average.
- Get arrested for public rowdiness at a football game.
- Attempt to recite a cliché adage at a press conference and promptly forget how it goes in the middle of saying it.
- Mount, and promptly fall off, an unpowered Segway scooter.
- Drop his dog in front of cameras.
- Consistently mispronounce the word "nuclear."
- Condescendingly mock the upcoming execution of a death row inmate.
- Trade away Sammy Sosa.
- Choke on pretzel bits to the point of losing balance and bruising his head.
- Attend a public event in which Stevie Wonder is performing and wave to him from the balcony.
Hopefully, Dr. Dean can get a few of these confidence-gaining moves in before the New Hampshire primary. After all, image is everything.
Bring me the head of James Earl Jones
Okay, I think e-mail and internet functions are working okay for me, but I'm going to risk outages tonight when I do some more wiring around the house.
Basically, I just finished entering THE FUTURE by finally upgrading the house line from dial-up to Verizon's DSL service. Which, having had an ethernet connection at NYU for four years prior to coming back home to New Jersey, only adds perspective as to how utterly, utterly horrible dial-up service is for someone who, you know, runs his own freakin' flash-animation-filled website and crap like that.
What finally sold the switch to my family to effectively double our monthly internet bill was the discovery that, about two months ago, out dial-up service was bought out by a larger company. Situated in Texas, they finally put up their company home page the other day, where they featured helpful links to customers on web service, online shopping, Christianity, sports news, and... oh yeah, I saw that too.
Now, I have no inherent problem with choosing to be Christian. There's a difference between the Church and its followers, and part of being liberal is respecting views even when you don't agree with them. So, to be clear, I didn't have a problem with the fact that our web service was run by practicing Christians. I did have a problem with the fact that as practicing Christians, they felt that they should donate profits from their services (including my monthly dial-up bill) to various organizations they supported. Among others, Concerned Women for America.
For those of you smart enough to not want to go look it up yourself and vomit, CWA is a Christian Conservative organization devoted to the belief that gays and abortion are pretty much two of the greatest evils on the planet which can only be destroyed by, coincidentally, putting as many Republicans in office as possible. Perhaps I'm embellishing slightly, but believe me, it's close enough, and you can peruse their home page on your own time if you want. Lord knows I ain't linkin' to it, though.
So, anyway, Verizon. We have DSL now, after a week and a half of converting the phone line using, as mentioned before, Braniac 13 technology or some shit like that. And it only took from 8 in the morning when one of their human-like robots called to tell me we could finally set the system up until... let's say, five minutes ago... to get it working. This was largely due to the help from the ACTUAL HUMANS I talked to on their support line who refuted all the wrong instructions the highly advanced robots were telling me on the installation CD.
What this means for all of you, anyways, is that I have the bandwidth now to finally put some more work into the site, and hopefully over the next few days/weeks I can get around to that. Other than that, the only other message of this post outside of venting is that you should always make sure before getting internet service that it's not run by fans of fundamentalist right-wing fascist organizations.
January 21, 2004
January 20, 2004
Random thoughts on the SOTU Address
-So does the United States have the world's largest stockpile of "weapons of mass murder" now? Or does it just depend on which country a nuke is in, like when you start adding "U"'s to words when you're in England?
-Libya disarmed after 9 months of negotiations. Iraq proved that the U.S. must back up it's demand for disarmament... as proven by the nation I just said we started negotiations with before the war started?
-Please don't have sex. That goes double if you're gay. George W. Bush, champion of the youth vote. Yup.
-Hey, ummm... weren't we gonna go to the moon? Nothing on a new space initiative, but two minutes on steroids in school?
-MSNBC just had John McCain on explaining how strange watching the erratic loony antics of Howard Dean was on television during a primary campaign. O-kaaaaaay....
-Not sure on this, but the open rebellion applause after the "Patriot Act expiring" statement is a first in a long time for public dissension during a SOTU Address, isn't it?
Okay, the snarky babbling over, the line that caught me the most was the one about the World Trade Center bombing. The wording of that segment was deliberate: the first WTC bombing led to the capture of (note) "some" of those responsible, and yet (note) eight years later the WTC was attacked again. In other words, Clinton clearly failed to defend America in a way I have even though I haven't caught Osama bin Laden.
If anything, I think that one passage proves there's no secret "we have him already" conspiracy. Clearly, Bush has no idea where Osama is. And clearly, he wants it to be Clinton's fault.
I will also concede that there was one element I partially-liked about the speech: the initiative to re-incorporate former felons into normal society. The idea is a great one, except of course that he's lying his ass off. As he proved by ruining it in the end, the idea is a shill for the "faith-based initiative" program. Meanwhile, let's see if re-incorporating ex-cons into normal society includes giving them the right to vote back. Don't all hold your breath.
And one other thing
Drop the "well this means Dean is toast" crap, okay? It's just as stupid as the argument that any other candidate has locked the nomination.
Dean performed miserably against all expectations in Iowa. His concession speech was a landmark in poor quality. It's certainly a damage to his momentum. Amidst all the (well deserved, mind you) mockery of his performance, one might want to remember that, in addition to still leading by what- eight points in New Hampshire?- Dean still has, you know, about thirty million dollars more than anyone else.
Tom's been doing a great job in the last 24 hours reminding us that the only thing Iowa really proved last night without a doubt is that everyone who's been making predictions for the last few weeks had no idea what they were talking about. (Hell, a week ago I had Kerry Photoshopped in with the Harlem Globetrotters.) Now Dean's gone against what they all said and you're all as politically knowledged as them in regards to how Dean's doing? Not really getting how that makes sense, guys.
I don't support Dean any more than I oppose him: it's up to voting and public opinion to determine who will do the best job beating Bush in November. But with New Hampshire only a week away it's silly not to wait until after at least that primary to start gauging whether or not "Dean is toast."
Admittedly, Dean needs a NH victory to maintain any sense of momentum. But even if he bombs there, I doubt that Dean's going anywhere while he can afford to stay. Considering that, I'd be much more worried about the guy who supposedly won it all last night. New Hampshire's gonna be tough. So is South Carolina. And Kerry's out of houses to mortgage.
Josh Marshall makes an important statement regarding the perception of Dean's "loss" in Iowa:
One point: At 10:11 PM on the east coast I'm watching CNN. And Bill Schneider was just on saying that the turning point for Dean, what sent him slipping, was the capture of Saddam Hussein. I think that's ridiculous.It's important that people stand by Marshall's assertion, for the sake of whoever the nominee is, be it Dean or someone else.
If the meme starts to circulate that Dean was trounced because he was "the anti-war candidate" then we've essentially given Bush all he needs for re-election. Like I've said before, the myth of the "improving economy" is ridiculous: stockholders getting rich again won't even dent three million newly unemployed voters, so that's not going to be in the Bush 2004 ad campaign. Bush is going to run on foreign policy, foreign policy, and a dash of foreign policy.
Dean showed exactly why he lost the lead in Iowa last night, and it had nothing to do with being against the war: as the polls showed, 75% of Iowa voters last night opposed Bush's Iraq excursion. What Dean did was come across as immature, inexperienced, and over-expectant. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, campaign-wise, because rarely can an official campaign focus on your opponent having personal problems. (Unofficial allies of Bush will, and have been, hammering that down, natch)
So if the pro-Bush people want to focus on Dean being unlikeable, fine by me, at least for now. It's a hell of a lot better than declaring death for any candidate who was against the main element of Bush's reason for re-election.
The State of the Union
As for foreign policy, it'll be much like last year's, I'm sure. War good, freeing Iraqi people, we caught Saddam, we caught Saddam, oh, by the way, we caught Saddam, and did I mention we caught Saddam? The number of times it's mentioned that Saddam Hussein is "no longer a threat" will more than compensate for the complete lack of the name "Osama bin Laden" appearing anywhere in the Address.
Expect a new slew of crap about the moon landings, and of course a demand to make the tax cuts permanent. What I'm waiting to see is if Bush actually straps on a brass pair of cojones to push those two items back-to-back. In fact, I think it'll be an interesting endurance challenge: just keep spouting off new and exciting ways to spend all the money in the country and see how long it takes for everyone to sit down and just stop clapping. Then run off the podium giggling.
Okay, I'm ramblng now, but what do you expect? It's clear that there's likely nothing of major policy relevance that I'm going to agree with in what is going to be Bush's last free-airtime political campaign speech before the election in November. What's really the issue is if he says anything powerful or significant enough to make that the Wednesday story instead of going back to Kerry. Odds are it won't be, since Bush is everything we've seen before and Kerry... well, hell, I'll be the first to say I'm still trying to figure out how the hell that happened.
And I forgot to wear my special Sanctity Sunday outfit
A reader informs me that Sunday was apparently another one of those "sanctity of life" days that, thankfully, no one gave a damn about.
January 19, 2004
What the hell?
Umm... did anyone else just notice Howard Dean lose his mind on live television? His speech sounded like Macho Man Randy Savage participating in a geography bee.
I think I can safely join in with the rest of the online world and admit that I'm not going to have anything insighful on the Iowa results that you won't find in all the coverage at Daily Kos. I'd really hate to think you're missing everything going on over there while waiting to see if I have something new on the momentum of the Lieberman campaign or whatever.
Five days left, bidders!
Wesley Clark is auctioning off his famous sweater on eBay for charity.
Well, that's kind of weird
Yahoo's election site for the Iowa Caucus is kinda odd. Scroll down and there's this table with pictures of the nine Democrats plus Bush to link to their information or something. Carol Mosely Braun is replaced with a big gray square marked "DROPPED OUT."
Well, you can still keep a picture of the woman up, can't you? She didn't get voted off the island.